Veterinarians see more dogs with snakebites in 2016

. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For dogs, something slithering through the grass is like an outside toy they want to run toward and play with, but if that slithering toy is a poisonous snake, the walk can turn deadly for four-legged friends.

Veterinarians in Myrtle Beach said there's a reason there have been more reports about dogs getting bitten by snakes- it's actually happening more in 2016 than usual.

Dr. Amanda Thomas with the Veterinary Clinic of Myrtle Beach said there was so much wet weather from winter into spring and it's so hot and humid during summer, that 2016 has seen a higher volume of dogs with both snakebites and parasites.

Dogs are investigators, and when they're bit it's typically because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Help prevent it by staying away from wooded areas, anywhere near water, and ditches where snakes hide.

Bites are usually on dogs faces and snouts. If it happens, pet owners absolutely have to rush their pet to the emergency vet immediately.

By waiting, owners are allowing their dog to sit in excruciating pain, and also increase the likelihood their family member won't survive.

Smaller dogs have a greater fatality rate than larger dogs. But still, Dr Thomas said if a dog is brought in immediately, there's about a 90 percent chance of survival.

Vets don't use anti-venom like a hospital would for humans, because it's not as effective. Dr. Thomas said treatment is an IV, antibiotics, pain reliever and occasionally anti venom. Typically dogs with snakebites are hospitalized for two-to-three days.

It's impossible to predict how sick a pet could get from a snake bite- it depends on the type of snake, its age, how hungry the snake is and if the dog was bitten more than once.

Dr. Thomas said pet owners should never try to treat a dog on their own because it won't help. Go to the vet immediately and don't let the pet walk because that spreads venom quicker.

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